Both series have great options. It just depends on your personal preferences and needs.
Benefits of the Elite series:
• Mummy shaped fit: snugly wraps you and results in weight savings without being too constrictive
• Differential cut in every baffle: reduced likelihood of cold spots due to jutting knees/elbows
• Secondary attachment clips: more contact surface between the quilt and your pad
Benefits of the Flex Series:
• Opens to a blanket: increased versatility, especially in warmer weather
• Zippered footbox: the zipper, snap, and down filled draft blocker allow you numerous options for ventilation, or entirely blocking out the cold
• Summer 2019 update: Differential cut in every baffle: reduced likelihood of cold spots due to jutting knees/elbows
Both series feature our patented pad attachment system, as well as a comfortable down filled collar, and elasticized edges to keep out drafts.
Should I get the WIDE or the REGULAR width?
Our “shoulder width” measurement reflects the width of the quilt when it is spread out flat. When drawn in for cold weather, we have found that our regular width ELITE bags fit comparably to traditional mummy bags with a 61” shoulder circumference. Our wide width bag fits comparably to a 67” shoulder circumference. Our FLEX series of bags are about 2″ wider than the ELITE.
Potential reasons to get the WIDE:
• Particularly broad shoulders (see below)
• Large or wide build (see below)
• Storing gear inside the bag while sleeping
• You just like to have extra room when in your bag
A good way to decide: measure your shoulder circumference. If it is at 50”, the ELITE regular width will be a snug fit, and the wide will be a roomy fit. If you are below 50”, the ELITE regular width will work, unless you prefer the extra room. Above 50”, you’ll be more comfortable in the wide. Again, the FLEX quilts run about 2″ wider than the ELITE, so use the same rule as above, except a measurement of 52″.
I am just over 6 feet tall. Do I need the 6’6” length?
You can probably get away with using the 6’ quilt if you are up to 6’ ½”. Anything over that, you might feel a bit truncated in the 6’ length. The same rule applies to the 5’6” size. If you are more than a ½” beyond that, you probably will want to size up.
I am a stomach sleeper. Should I go up a size in length?
When you sleep on your stomach with your toes pointing away from you, you essentially increase your “height”. It’s like you’re standing on tiptoes while laying down. Since our sizes refer to the maximum height of the user, you might want to consider sizing up if you are close to that size break, and you spend a lot of time sleeping on your stomach.
Which bag (temperature rating) will be best for my needs?
The temperature ratings for each bag are considered to be comfort ratings for most people. Everyone is different. You should consider the climate in which you do most of your camping, and whether you are a warm or cold sleeper.
I want a three-season bag. Which one should I choose?
You should consider a few factors when making this choice: the climate in which you do most of your camping, how far into the shoulder seasons you plan to camp, and whether you are a warm or cold sleeper. Our most popular choices for a three-season Elite Series bag are the Palisade, Alsek, and Sawatch. The Flex Series offers more ventilation options in the foot box, and the Flex 30°, Flex 22°, and Flex 15° are the most popular in that category.
Should I order overfill, or just go up to the next warmest bag?
Each bag is designed with the ideal baffle height and differential cut to accommodate for the amount of down it needs. Adding a little overfill will get you a few more degrees of warmth, typically 1.5 – 2.5°F per ounce. However, at a certain point there is no real benefit to continuing to add overfill. If you are considering adding more than 2-4 oz. of overfill, depending on the model, we suggest ordering the next warmest bag.
Is the DWR used on your quilt fabrics PFC free?
A concern for some of our customers is whether the DWR (Durable Water Repellant) treatment on our quilt fabric is PFC free. Traditional DWR treatments used C8 fluorocarbons, which have been found to be toxic to both the environment and humans, and take a very long time to break down. The DWR on our fabrics does not use C8 fluorocarbons. The Pertex fabrics we use feature a DWR treatment which uses a shorter chain C6 fluorocarbon, which breaks down more quickly than C8, and has not been shown to have negative health effects.
Why not move to a PFC free DWR?
We have researched the current PFC free fabric options available for use on our quilts. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that the PFC-free DWRs are about 10% as effective as our current treatment and deteriorate much more quickly. Therefore, it would not deliver the performance or longevity our customers need. We’ve also found that fabrics treated with PFC free DWRs react poorly to body oils and skin care products (sunscreen, chapstick), resulting in excessive staining. We will continue to monitor new technologies that develop to determine if future iterations of PFC free DWRs can meet the needs of our customers.
Is your down ethically sourced?
Absolutely, yes. Like many of our customers, we at Katabatic Gear are concerned with the environmental and animal welfare impact of our products. We are dedicated to a responsibly sourced, and very high quality product, just like our down supplier, Allied Feather and Down. They are certified through both the bluesign® and Responsible Down Standard® programs. Another reason we partner with Allied: we can offer our customers access to the Track My Down program. It allows our customers to learn everything there is to know about the down in their specific sleeping quilt. For more information, please follow these links to Allied’s Pledge, FAQ’s, and Track My Down pages.
Are there any disadvantages with the 850 fill power duck down compared to goose?
There are no quality, performance, or longevity sacrifices in buying a duck vs. goose product. The only potential downside is that some users report a bit more noticeable odor from duck down. This is NOT due to it being less clean. We’re told it is due to the birds’ diet. Some folks don’t even notice it, while those who are more scent-sensitive might. This is particularly if the bag is damp. As one customer put it, “Who cares! In a week or two it’s going to smell like MY odor.” Do note, since duck down is available in 850 f.p. (not yet available in 900), a bag filled with it will weigh a little more, since we have to use more of it to achieve the same loft, and therefore warmth. See our “Specs” tabs for details.
The advantage of duck down? It is more readily available, and therefore, cheaper.
What is the benefit of the Water Resistant HyperDRY down?
If it gets damp, the water resistant down will be able to maintain loft easier compared to the untreated down. Please keep in mind that this down is not water-proof or comparable to synthetic insulation. If it gets soaked, the down will not loft properly or insulate until dry.
The water resistant down can be useful for people who
• Do a lot of camping in damp/rainy climates.
• Spend a lot of consecutive nights in cold temperatures where the dew point of their perspiration may be reached inside the insulation. In other words, the vapor from your body condenses to liquid as it is moving from the inside of the quilt, and then cannot pass through the shell fabric of the bag. Typically, this is not an issue above freezing, and generally not a concern unless you’ve been out for 4-5 nights without a chance to dry your bag.
What kind of pad can I use with a Katabatic quilt?
Most sleeping pads will work well with our Pad Attachment system. You just need to be able to tie the supplied 2mm cords around the circumference of your sleeping pad. Pads that don’t work very well are thin, closed cell pads (1/4″ thick or less) and Klymit pads that have openings in them. Our favorite pads are the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir and X-Therm, as well as the Exped UL mats.
Can I get a different color than what I see on the photo?
Unfortunately we are not able to offer any custom colors.
Do you do any custom work?
Unfortunately we are not able to offer any custom work, other than down overfill.
When will my goods be delivered?
If the item you ordered states “Ships in two weeks,” or something similar, it might require some finishing specific to your order. It will leave our shop within the stated time frame after the date your payment was submitted, usually via USPS Priority Mail or UPS Ground. Otherwise, your item will leave our shop in one – two business days. If you have a trip/deadline coming up, please email us (email@example.com) or leave us a note on the checkout screen. We can usually shift things around to meet these timelines, but we would contact you if we are not able to do so.
Do you ship to addresses outside of the US?
USPS Priority Mail Express International or USPS Priority Mail International will be used for international shipments. Typical delivery time is 1-3 weeks in transit, and can vary particularly if there are delays in customs. Be aware that you may be responsible for import duties / VAT. We recommend checking with your local customs office to find out if these apply in your country.